skip to Main Content

Worst Home Renovations for ROI (and What to Do Instead)

Deciding what home renovations to make can be a challenging balance of cost, ROI, necessity, and aesthetic appeal. If you live in the home and plan to stay there for a while, then necessity will probably rank higher. If you are flipping the home and need it to appeal to buyers quickly, then aesthetics will play a larger role.

Whatever your reasons are for looking into home renovations, there are smart choices and then some not-so-smart choices you can make. In this post, we go over a few of the worst home renovations for ROI and what you can do instead.



Don’t: Roof Replacement

They just want a roof over their head. Most people view the roof as simply a necessity and are not drawn to a luxurious roof style. That means avoid highly stylized roof options like clay tiles and cedar shakes. Additionally, metal roofs may be high functioning, but buyers will still only see an expensive essential.


Do: Kitchen Appliances

New kitchen appliances have a great ROI because they look attractive to buyers. However, to achieve that appeal, you don’t have to purchase the top-shelf appliances. Anything in stainless steel or black will look nice without any spots or fingerprints. Buyers may not be cooking up Michelin star meals in their kitchen, but they still want to channel their inner Gordon Ramsay when they can.

Pro Tip: If you purchase new appliances, keep the tags or stickers on them so the buyer does not doubt that they’re brand new.


Don’t: Upscale Bathroom Remodel

Unfortunately, as nice a freestanding tub, luxurious sinks, and beautiful shower tiles may look, these renovations don’t return much on the cost that goes into them. In addition, many of the upscale style and design decisions in bathroom remodels don’t appeal to a broader audience. This nice, but expensive looking bathroom could end up turning away buyers as they don’t want to pay for design choices they might not have made themselves. In 2019, the average ROI for upscale bathroom remodels was approximately 60%. But with a price tag that averages over $60,000, that can be a lot of cash down the drain.

Do: Minor Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen remodels will certainly gain attention since most families spend a lot of time in this room. However, if you’re looking for the best ROI in the kitchen, aim for a minor remodel, not major. This means update the cabinet fronts (not entire cabinets), new flooring, and possibly new countertops. Avoid built-in refrigerators, high-end backsplashes, and exposed shelving. Buyers love a modern look that keeps the kitchen fresh, but still approachable.


Don’t: High-End Landscaping

A beautiful lawn will certainly add to curb appeal, but if you go too far, you may scare away buyers. They know that high-end landscaping translates into expensive maintenance costs that they may not want to keep up with. Avoid adding many shrubs that need to be manicured, or too many large flower gardens. This is especially true if you’re trying to sell in the heat of the summer or dead of winter when most lawns may not look their best.

Do: Repaint

This classic home renovation is perfect for adding a fresh look that will attract buyers. New paint covers up all the spots, stains, and signs of wear that come from years of living. Whether new paint is indoors or outdoors (or both), buyers will feel like they are entering an almost brand-new home. One of the bonuses here is that you don’t have to purchase expensive paint to achieve the same results. Just make sure you stick with whites or a neutral color palette. Now isn’t the time to bring out your inner Picasso!


Don’t: Sunroom

Let’s shine a light on why sunrooms have a low ROI. The primary reasons are is that they require a lot of careful design, labor and material costs, and quite a bit of upkeep. On top of all that, if the sunroom doesn’t have AC/heating then it won’t be included in the square footage calculation for the home. Ouch!

Do: Wood Deck

Adding a wood deck will cost an average of about $10,000, which isn’t bad considering the ROI is about 82%. Keep in mind that a wood deck adds more useable space for entertaining and relaxing but is also low maintenance for homeowners. Most buyers can imagine themselves grilling up some barbeque with plenty of room for their friends and neighbors to hang outside with them. This makes a wood deck ideal for a quick addition that every potential buyer will enjoy.

Considering What Home Renovations for ROI You Should Get?

Are you considering any of these home renovations for ROI – or for any reason? Whether it’s for your personal home or an investment property, Park Place Finance offers home renovation loans that will help you finance your ideal improvements. Contact us today to ask how you can get started.


Justin Hubbert

Justin began his lending career working for a Lending Tree Affiliate and Chase Bank for several years before opening Park Place Finance in Austin, Texas in 2007. With expertise in condo project approvals, working with self-employed borrowers, and Texas Cash Out loan regulations, he has originated over $110 million in Conventional, FHA, and jumbo residential loans.

Back To Top